High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:42 pm

BruceWayne wrote:If you have good grades and law review, it should not be that hard to land callbacks. With the way that law firms hire (essentially on transcript and only secondarily on other factors for most candidates), the bar for a good interview just isn't that high.

What this means is that you are coming across as downright uninterested and likely even have some physical appearance issues ( I don't mean the way you look, but rather, how you are dressed). What exactly are you wearing in these interviews? What fit are you wearing?

One thing that I think people have mentioned that is suprisingly important is to smile. Smile, sit-up straight, and come across as professional. The latter is harder than you might think for someone k-JD because you've never been in a professional environment. What this means is that you should be talking slowly, calmly, and directly. You should be maintaining eye contact and you should not be fidgeting during your interview. Stay still. Further express that law school has shown you how interesting and challenging litigation can be. And that you like the intellectual challenge of coming up with a winning argument. However, mention that as a 2L you have had no exposure to transactional and thus are very curious as to what that practice is like. Explain that you like the idea of all parties working toward a common goal where everyone sees a positive outcome in the end. Further explain that you are also curious about approaching law from a business oriented perspective.


No, I was trying to come across as animated and excited. It didn't work, so I tried being more dry and laid-back today. I am naturally a pleasant person who gets along well with others, but I don't dominate a room. My wardrobe/hygiene is about as perfect as it gets with the straightest, whitest teeth you have seen (artificial of course). Believe me, I got advice from multiple practitioners on this before OCI. The fit is perfect and tailored. I shower 2 times a day and have the straightest, whitest teeth around. I am also probably in the 80th percentile for looks (I am not arrogant in person at all. I am just stating the facts here to rule things out).

My CSO finally gave me some feedback from one of the firms, and my issue was not being comfortable with the interview process/nervousness, NOT perceived lack of interest. My new IDGAF approach seemed to make the interviews go a lot smoother and more conversationally. Instead of focusing on selling myself, I focused instead on finding ground with the interviewers. I had 4 today. I actually have 14 left. (I miscounted drastically in the OP). The CSO said, after talking to firms, that I was on the razor's edge for two firms yesterday but just barely missed a CB.

I think I just don't stand out anywhere for whatever reason. I've actually come to the conclusion that I will stay in school through the fall semester 2L, and if I don't get a decent job, I will use that time to figure out how to switch to either smartphone/software/petroleum engineering (my school is one of the best for this). I've got tons of GI Bill benefits (nearly 110 credits left from my service before undergrad) I can still use, so debt would not be a problem. I'm only 25. I've decided to take not getting a job this semester as a divine sign that I ought to be an engineer since I am super good at math (just was a little lazy in undergrad so I studied History in spite of a 710 on the math SAT and a 760 GMAT).

I have decided that, for my last 14, I am just going to go in relaxed and make casual conversation to the interviewers. I am not going to try so hard anymore. If they like me, great. If they don't, I'll know that, if there is a God, he or she clearly does not want me to do law. I already feel much better about my 4 interviews today, and I have 1 NYC callback to go to (V10) that I got from a mass mailing screener.

It's really nice to have a backup plan.

Also, I am at UT, if that helps at all. Thus, our OCI is NOT like lottery OCI where callbacks are mostly based on grades. For us, callbacks are mostly based on making a connection with the interviewer since those without the grades are unlikely to be in the interview room at all (except for a very, very, very few lotteries).

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BruceWayne
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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:45 pm

Not trying to be a jackass OP, but someone with those kinds of standardized math test scores shouldn't be going into law ITE unless they have a true passion for law (which you clearly don't). THAT may be the culprit in your interviews. From what you described, especially considering the market for energy right now, I would HEAVILY consider going the petroleum engineering route that you described.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:08 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Not trying to be a jackass OP, but someone with those kinds of standardized math test scores shouldn't be going into law ITE unless they have a true passion for law (which you clearly don't). THAT may be the culprit in your interviews. From what you described, especially considering the market for energy right now, I would HEAVILY consider going the petroleum engineering route that you described.


um, 710 SAT math is not that good. Honestly, an 800 is pretty easy. This isn't the LSAT. Petroleum engineering, whatever the fuck that means, is probably significantly harder.

Not that you're wrong, otherwise. Fuck law if you have no interest in it. There's way better career paths.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Not trying to be a jackass OP, but someone with those kinds of standardized math test scores shouldn't be going into law ITE unless they have a true passion for law (which you clearly don't). THAT may be the culprit in your interviews. From what you described, especially considering the market for energy right now, I would HEAVILY consider going the petroleum engineering route that you described.


um, 710 SAT math is not that good. Honestly, an 800 is pretty easy. This isn't the LSAT. Petroleum engineering, whatever the fuck that means, is probably significantly harder.

Not that you're wrong, otherwise. Fuck law if you have no interest in it. There's way better career paths.


LOL, yeah, i scored 700 on the math SAT in eighth grade and i'm in law.....scored 800 on the real thing as do, what, like, 3% of test takers?

/not-so-humble-brag LOL

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby fatduck » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:25 pm

i'm gonna be brutally honest: you sound like the type of person who thinks they're a cool, casual, laid-back guy, but is actually completely fucking insufferable. you're the guy who's absolutely full of himself, but thinks he's fooling everyone by being self-deprecating. and let's be honest, if i can figure that out from like 10 posts on the internet, your interviewers probably aren't having much trouble reading between the lines.

i don't really have any advice.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby shure57 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:31 pm

fatduck wrote:i'm gonna be brutally honest: you sound like the type of person who thinks they're a cool, casual, laid-back guy, but is actually completely fucking insufferable. you're the guy who's absolutely full of himself, but thinks he's fooling everyone by being self-deprecating. and let's be honest, if i can figure that out from like 10 posts on the internet, your interviewers probably aren't having much trouble reading between the lines.

i don't really have any advice.


+1

"80th percentile in looks"? lol who thinks of these things?

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:33 pm

No. In my mock interviews at first I often got feedback that I was too humble. The only reason I mentioned things that sound like bragging here is to rule things out. I want to clarify that hygiene wardrobe and general social ineptitude can't be the main cause. It's got to be something else, like nervousness.


I'm sorry. That's the problem with these forums. I'm sure my CSO would have told me if I sounded that way. The feedback I got today from firms was that I seemed nervous and less comfortable with the process than others. I might be fine with auto callback grades. But I'm only top 20% who wrote onto Law Review. You still have to outdo other students with those grades at UT/Vandy.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:37 pm

maybe the interviewers are blinded by the whiteness of your teeth? perhaps provide them with some shades?

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby snyphil2 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:39 pm

My guess from reading all the posts in the thread (unlike some of the other posters, it appears) is that the lack of enthusiasm is killing you.

You sound a bit like a friend of mine who thinks biglaw is stupid and full of dickheads and is just doing it to jump through a hoop. People can smell that a mile away, especially astute people like successful attorneys. Think about the reason you feel this way, though; you admit freely that you don't really know what it's like to practice law, so why does your prediction have to be negative? I expect you could fine the following mindset both genuine and helpful: I don't know exactly what biglaw has to offer, but I'm excited to find out, and I could turn out loving it. Lots of people do. I think I'm probably one of those people, since I've done well so far in law school and had a rewarding time doing it.

I remember interviewing a kid who had the lack of enthusiasm problem once. He seemed to feel entitled, and though he said the right-sounding things, I just got the idea he wouldn't really dedicate himself to helping the coworkers I'd be leaving for him to work with. I care about my coworkers, and want to have someone who cares work with them. I wanted to tell him, I don't care how you act in this interview, I want to know how you're going to act when you're on the job.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby snyphil2 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:41 pm

fatduck wrote:i'm gonna be brutally honest: you sound like the type of person who thinks they're a cool, casual, laid-back guy, but is actually completely fucking insufferable. you're the guy who's absolutely full of himself, but thinks he's fooling everyone by being self-deprecating. and let's be honest, if i can figure that out from like 10 posts on the internet, your interviewers probably aren't having much trouble reading between the lines.

i don't really have any advice.


brutal! lol. OP, people really can't tell that much about you from a few Internet posts, so don't worry. if you don't know what you want out of this job, sit down and think about it until you do!

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:46 pm

My first day of OCI didn't go well either, and what I realized is that you need to be way more outgoing. When the interviewer opens the door, say hi and shake hands, and then don't allow for there to be silence while you get seated. Ask how his/her day is going as you go to sit down, and let the conversation move naturally from there. Be attentive, have clear reasons for wanting to work there, have solid questions (best to focus on that individual's practice with these). Once I upped the energy level I had MUCH better results and batted almost 1000.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby paulinaporizkova » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:52 pm

snyphil2 wrote:
fatduck wrote:i'm gonna be brutally honest: you sound like the type of person who thinks they're a cool, casual, laid-back guy, but is actually completely fucking insufferable. you're the guy who's absolutely full of himself, but thinks he's fooling everyone by being self-deprecating. and let's be honest, if i can figure that out from like 10 posts on the internet, your interviewers probably aren't having much trouble reading between the lines.

i don't really have any advice.


brutal! lol. OP, people really can't tell that much about you from a few Internet posts, so don't worry. if you don't know what you want out of this job, sit down and think about it until you do!


LOL

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:01 pm

Maybe not doing much research on the firm is the issue. I've read the nalp. entries that's about it. Part of it is I'm just exhausted and drained. I have just done so many interviews and the ones I did where I researched down to the case level didn't go better.

So I changed and now I just read the nalp entry and the interviewers bio and try to make the interview more about things like the culture, why the interviewer chose that city/ firm/practice area as well as common interests. I thought this way would go better. I'm really not about to get into specific cases and stuff again I don't think that's what they care about

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Maybe not doing much research on the firm is the issue. I've read the nalp. entries that's about it. Part of it is I'm just exhausted and drained. I have just done so many interviews and the ones I did where I researched down to the case level didn't go better.

So I changed and now I just read the nalp entry and the interviewers bio and try to make the interview more about things like the culture, why the interviewer chose that city/ firm/practice area as well as common interests. I thought this way would go better. I'm really not about to get into specific cases and stuff again I don't think that's what they care about


No, they won't be into that at all. You need to be friendly, and try to strike up a normal conversation from the start. You definitely shouldn't be dropping cases etc., these are normal people who want a conversation, not an exam answer. Know about the firm's practice areas, ask about them, but most of all just try to talk about something normal for a while before getting into it. That's when they decide if they like you or not.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:08 am

If OP has grades and good looks he must be doing something wrong in interviews. Hard to tell what as he stays he is laid back but the CSO feedback was that he was too nervous?

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Ixiion » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:05 am

You're not the only one who's doing 129472394 interviews. So are the interviewers. They're probably bored out of their minds, but they're faking enthusiasm. Get their mind off of their boredom.

One interview I had (admittedly, has nothing to do with law), it sort of stalled while he was getting some paper. In the meanwhile, I noticed a picture he had of his family at Christmas time. We ended up talking about family Christmases and sharing memories. Another interview, I noticed he was a Jets fan (and I'm clearly a Giants fan) we ended up talking about football with some good-natured ribbing. I got both jobs. Be observant. See if there are details about the interviewer that you can pick up from his appearance, or from little trinkets that he carries with him, etc. As long as it's not inappropriate, making small-talk will put both you and the interviewer at ease. Biglaw people are still people -- in other words, just like you and me, they like football, or video games, or books, or turkey at thanksgiving. It's not that hard to notice at least one thing that they're into, and comment on it, drum up a conversation.

I am a normally outgoing person, so yes, it is easier for me. But you're silly if you think that even the most outgoing of people don't walk into that interview shaking in their boots. Of course we do, it's natural. I had to drive slowly on my way to those interviews because I was shaking. The trick is hiding it or thinking of things that will take your mind off of it long enough to relax - even if just slightly. These things matter. If you're visibly "shaking in your boots" then they're going to automatically think, hey, this person can't even handle the pressure of an interview, how are they going to do when they've got the pressure of deadlines, etc, as an associate?

tl;dr: FAKE IT.

Though, on another note, if you're doing law for the hell of it and not because you want to, you really shouldn't be doing law. All of these back-up plans, these sound like you're giving yourself excuses to let yourself fail. If you go in expecting failure, you'll fail.

My father taught me something extremely important: If you do something for the money, you'll never make as much as you could have, because there will be 2893792 people better than you. If you do something because you love it, you'll excel at it, and you'll end up making more money that way because you'll be better than those 923872938 people and not totally preoccupied by the money. So if you're doing law for the money, it's a big mistake.

User has been warned for posting in the Legal Employment forum as a 0L.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:55 am

Ixiion wrote:You're not the only one who's doing 129472394 interviews. So are the interviewers. They're probably bored out of their minds, but they're faking enthusiasm. Get their mind off of their boredom.

One interview I had (admittedly, has nothing to do with law), it sort of stalled while he was getting some paper. In the meanwhile, I noticed a picture he had of his family at Christmas time. We ended up talking about family Christmases and sharing memories. Another interview, I noticed he was a Jets fan (and I'm clearly a Giants fan) we ended up talking about football with some good-natured ribbing. I got both jobs. Be observant. See if there are details about the interviewer that you can pick up from his appearance, or from little trinkets that he carries with him, etc. As long as it's not inappropriate, making small-talk will put both you and the interviewer at ease. Biglaw people are still people -- in other words, just like you and me, they like football, or video games, or books, or turkey at thanksgiving. It's not that hard to notice at least one thing that they're into, and comment on it, drum up a conversation.

I am a normally outgoing person, so yes, it is easier for me. But you're silly if you think that even the most outgoing of people don't walk into that interview shaking in their boots. Of course we do, it's natural. I had to drive slowly on my way to those interviews because I was shaking. The trick is hiding it or thinking of things that will take your mind off of it long enough to relax - even if just slightly. These things matter. If you're visibly "shaking in your boots" then they're going to automatically think, hey, this person can't even handle the pressure of an interview, how are they going to do when they've got the pressure of deadlines, etc, as an associate?

tl;dr: FAKE IT.

Though, on another note, if you're doing law for the hell of it and not because you want to, you really shouldn't be doing law. All of these back-up plans, these sound like you're giving yourself excuses to let yourself fail. If you go in expecting failure, you'll fail.

My father taught me something extremely important: If you do something for the money, you'll never make as much as you could have, because there will be 2893792 people better than you. If you do something because you love it, you'll excel at it, and you'll end up making more money that way because you'll be better than those 923872938 people and not totally preoccupied by the money. So if you're doing law for the money, it's a big mistake.

Are you an 0L? I think 0Ls aren't supposed to post in this forum. I was confused by seeing a family photo at a screener. I thought someone brought their pictures with them which would have weirded me out.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby nouseforaname123 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:26 am


My father taught me something extremely important: If you do something for the money, you'll never make as much as you could have, because there will be 2893792 people better than you. If you do something because you love it, you'll excel at it, and you'll end up making more money that way because you'll be better than those 923872938 people and not totally preoccupied by the money. So if you're doing law for the money, it's a big mistake.


I hate boomers.

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Ixiion
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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Ixiion » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:46 am

sunynp wrote:Are you an 0L? I think 0Ls aren't supposed to post in this forum. I was confused by seeing a family photo at a screener. I thought someone brought their pictures with them which would have weirded me out.


Well, the family photo thing would obviously be odd in this situation, but it was more of an example than anything, lol. But yeah I didn't realize I'm not supposed to post here, my bad.

nouseforaname123 wrote:
I hate boomers.

Lol. He wasn't a boomer. He was born in the 40s, and made a killing as an electrical engineer. Go figure.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Not trying to be a jackass OP, but someone with those kinds of standardized math test scores shouldn't be going into law ITE unless they have a true passion for law (which you clearly don't). THAT may be the culprit in your interviews. From what you described, especially considering the market for energy right now, I would HEAVILY consider going the petroleum engineering route that you described.


um, 710 SAT math is not that good. Honestly, an 800 is pretty easy. This isn't the LSAT. Petroleum engineering, whatever the fuck that means, is probably significantly harder.

Not that you're wrong, otherwise. Fuck law if you have no interest in it. There's way better career paths.


If you're not good at math the LSAT is infinitely easier than the math section of the SAT. It's always puzzled me how many people don't get that it's possible to be really good at verbal reasoning etc. but not at math. The two skills really aren't the same at all. I mean there's a reason a lot of the people in law school are in law school and not in med school or getting a degree in finance etc.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:45 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Not trying to be a jackass OP, but someone with those kinds of standardized math test scores shouldn't be going into law ITE unless they have a true passion for law (which you clearly don't). THAT may be the culprit in your interviews. From what you described, especially considering the market for energy right now, I would HEAVILY consider going the petroleum engineering route that you described.


um, 710 SAT math is not that good. Honestly, an 800 is pretty easy. This isn't the LSAT. Petroleum engineering, whatever the fuck that means, is probably significantly harder.

Not that you're wrong, otherwise. Fuck law if you have no interest in it. There's way better career paths.


If you're not good at math the LSAT is infinitely easier than the math section of the SAT. It's always puzzled me how many people don't get that it's possible to be really good at verbal reasoning etc. but not at math. The two skills really aren't the same at all. I mean there's a reason a lot of the people in law school are in law school and not in med school or getting a degree in finance etc.


Very true. I also didn't do anything during high school (it's called "unschooling"), so I think my GMAT is much more reflective of my math potential than my 95th percentile SAT math score (with 800 reading, 700 writing).

75% of the LSAT is super easy for people who are good at verbal but not math. Non-math people struggle with the logic games section. I never finished it on time. So yeah, I'm probably a little weaker in math than verbal, but I know a lot of engineers who started out from a far weaker place with respect to math. A lot of it has to do with exposure, too. I am relatively lazy when I don't have to do something, and I never had to do math, so I haven't had a lot of exposure to it and have still done better on standardized tests than many people who make math their focus.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby fatduck » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:02 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Not trying to be a jackass OP, but someone with those kinds of standardized math test scores shouldn't be going into law ITE unless they have a true passion for law (which you clearly don't). THAT may be the culprit in your interviews. From what you described, especially considering the market for energy right now, I would HEAVILY consider going the petroleum engineering route that you described.


um, 710 SAT math is not that good. Honestly, an 800 is pretty easy. This isn't the LSAT. Petroleum engineering, whatever the fuck that means, is probably significantly harder.

Not that you're wrong, otherwise. Fuck law if you have no interest in it. There's way better career paths.


If you're not good at math the LSAT is infinitely easier than the math section of the SAT. It's always puzzled me how many people don't get that it's possible to be really good at verbal reasoning etc. but not at math. The two skills really aren't the same at all. I mean there's a reason a lot of the people in law school are in law school and not in med school or getting a degree in finance etc.

no.

your opinions are dumb. 710 math is like barely 90th percentile. anyone who scored a 170+ on the LSAT could break 750 math with minimal study.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby anon5225 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:23 pm

Wow this thread degenerated very quickly.

Anyway, if you can't articulate any reasons for wanting to be in biglaw, why did you actually make the decision to do that?

My own reasons were money, interest in field X, and chance to make full use of the training and support biglaw has to offer in developing my own practice within a firm. If you legitimately can't say any good, genuine reasons for wanting to do it, then don't do it. There are a million ways for you to be happy in this world and it's perfectly okay to decide biglaw isn't one of them.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby dresden doll » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:29 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
If you're not good at math the LSAT is infinitely easier than the math section of the SAT. It's always puzzled me how many people don't get that it's possible to be really good at verbal reasoning etc. but not at math. The two skills really aren't the same at all. I mean there's a reason a lot of the people in law school are in law school and not in med school or getting a degree in finance etc.

THIS. GTFO with the '800 Math SAT is easy to get' bullshit. I found LSAT infinitely easier than the SAT.

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Re: High Risk, High Reward Interviewing Strategies

Postby fatduck » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:54 pm

dresden doll wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
If you're not good at math the LSAT is infinitely easier than the math section of the SAT. It's always puzzled me how many people don't get that it's possible to be really good at verbal reasoning etc. but not at math. The two skills really aren't the same at all. I mean there's a reason a lot of the people in law school are in law school and not in med school or getting a degree in finance etc.

THIS. GTFO with the '800 Math SAT is easy to get' bullshit. I found LSAT infinitely easier than the SAT.

800 math is not "easy" to get in the same way a 172+ LSAT is not "easy" to get. but honestly, 800 is kind of the floor for the type of people who go to top engineering programs. saying that a 710 math means you should never ever consider law school is just stupid.




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